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Swollen rivers sweep away holiday homes in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) -- Rivers in central Sweden swollen by weeks of heavy rain in the mountains washed away summer houses, roads and railway embankments on Friday.

Most trains to and from northern Sweden were cancelled and replacement buses were delayed on roads blocked by debris carried by the torrents on their way south to the Baltic Sea.

The army was on alert and upstream power stations had to release huge volumes of water to prevent dam overflows.

"This is going to alter the water levels dramatically on Friday, especially in the Indalsalven River," water board official Gustav Strandberg said.

The rivers Voxnan, Ljusnan and Ljungan and their tributaries were also at dangerous levels.

The weather forecast for the affected area of central Sweden was fair on Friday, but more rain is expected over the weekend.

The exceptionally high rainfall so far in July after a wet June has hit Sweden at the height of its summer holiday season.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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